Jerry Weldon – Those Were The Days – CellarLive

by | May 28, 2018 | Jazz CD Reviews

Not quite at the “chicken shack” level but still a solid groove.

Jerry Weldon – Those Were The Days – CellarLive CL011218 56:53***:

( Jerry Weldon – tenor saxophone; Kyle Koehler – Hammond B-3 Organ; Colby Inzer – drums; Daniel Sadownick – percussion #2,3,6)

Like flowers in the spring, journeyman tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon has popped up with his first CD release for the Canadian label CellarLive called Those Were The Days. 

Anchored in a Hammond B-3 organ setting, Weldon with his hard bop style, makes the most of the orchestra-like possibilities flowing from Kyle Koehler’s B-3 keyboard propelled along by drummer Colby Inzer, as well as the occasional percussion excursions of Daniel Sadownick. The set list is covers of mostly recognizable popular and jazz tunes, with one original number from Weldon called “Sunny V”. This number moves along with a nice sense of swing to which Sadownick’s congas add a Latin muscularity to Weldon’s full tone.

“Love Won’t Let Me Wait” was a big hit in 1975 for Major Harris a former member of The Delfonics. Fleshed out here with a solid groove, Weldon digs out his inspiration from the soul/R&B foundations of the number with Koehler’s B-3 showcasing his brawny power. Even with the addition of percussionist Daniel Sadownick, “Strangers In The Night” never really clicks, and Weldon occasionally loses his way struggling to find the right notes.

By way of contrast the Bert Bacharach/Hal David number “Walk On By” that also has Sadownick’s percussive input, fares far better. Weldon’s breezy and warm interpretation captures the essence of the number and Koehler slips in a singular solo full of interesting harmonic gestures.

One of organist Jimmy Smith’s singular tunes is “The Sermon.” While Weldon does his part throughout the number with some strong bop infused playing, the piece is really a tour de force for Kyle Koehler. He roams at will over the organ keyboard pulling out all the stops. Additionally drummer Colby Inzer flexes his muscles with a compelling drum kit workout.

The final and title track is listed as “Those Were The Days”  but this not the same composition as the remembered theme song for the TV series All In The Family. This Gene Raskin piece was originally a Russian romantic song entitled By The Long Road. Regardless of the antecedents it has an unadulterated spicy cordiality that gives Weldon the frame to be big boned with his sound. Koehler’s robust organ shows his ability as a fearsome improvisor.

While this organ trio is not quite at the “chicken shack” level, it still delivers a solid groove.

TrackList: Love Won’t Let Me Wait; Strangers In The Night; Sunny V; Where Is Love; Rosetta; Walk On By; This Is Always; The Sermon; Those Were The Days

—Pierre Giroux

Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure